Android This Week: Verizon App Tools; New Google Docs

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Verizon announced new developer tools this week to help build apps for its VCAST app store on both the Android and BlackBerry platforms. The APIs and toolkit are aimed at helping create apps that incorporate the carrier’s location-based services. These services forego the need to use GPS and Wi-Fi-based location determination, instead using Verizon cell towers to pinpoint handset locations. This information can then be incorporated into apps that provide specific information based on the customer’s location.

Google updated Google Docs for both Android phones and the iPad  to provide enhanced editing capabilities for those devices. Documents can now be edited on Android phones, with support for real-time document collaboration. Work teams are often scattered all over the globe, and collaboration can now have an appropriate mobile focus. Google also kicked off an extra layer of login verification that augments the standard user credentials with a special code that is sent to the user’s mobile phone.

There are ways to customize your Android phone without resorting to the drastic measure of replacing the ROM. The Android Market is full of widgets and utilities designed to tailor the phone’s look and feel in a personal way. These vary from single function widgets that add simple utility to full-blog interface replacements that can be configured as desired. The best way to show these customizations in action is on video, so that’s what we did.

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